As I’ve shared my travels on the blog I receive so many questions on how I prioritize travel and essentially “make it happen” each year. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to twenty three countries so far and this definitely didn’t happen by accident! Because we’re starting a new year and many of us are making plans for 2019, I’m sharing the tips and strategies I use to explore as much of the world as I can.
Here we go!
Make a bucket list
A few weeks ago I made a life bucket list for myself and most of it was “go see this city” or “visit this country.” Looking at my list its obnoxiously clear that travel is a clear priority for me. When you have a list of goals, you have something to work towards and to “check off.” Keeping my travel bucket list current means I keep my dream destinations at the forefront of my priorities and plan my life (and budget) accordingly. Maybe you want to see Machu Picchu or explore ruins in Rome? Make a plan, and make it happen!
Start planning early
You have to be intentional about goals that are as lofty as traveling. Especially to the really far away places because they are often expensive and require a good chunk of time. You need time to save, make a budget, and request vacation time off. Also, going to work with my travel goal in mind helps makes the days easier and motivates me.
Another helpful tip, if you plan on making a career or job change in the year, be strategic about the transition period. If you plan well enough you might be able to fit in a wonderful trip month long trip when in between jobs without having to take any time off. Do it!
Plan around work travel
If you or your partner travel for work – take advantage of this! This is how Ted and I visited Charleston last year. Ted was in a smaller, nearby city for work so I flew out to meet him for the weekend and we had a blast. The best part? We only had to pay for my airfare to get there since Ted’s was covered for work.
Make use of credit card miles
Whenever airlines offer in-flight credit cards I jump on those deals and always apply. You usually get enough miles from the initial sign up to cover a whole domestic flight or a good chunk of an international one. Mind you, I am not a financial advisor, so do this at your own risk. I’m not sure if this is a “credit score” friendly way to do it. Still, it works for me so wanted to share!
Take advantage of airline mistakes
For those of you that remember my Warsaw post, we got to see the beautiful city on the way to Vienna, Austria because of a “mechanical failure” that turned into an overnight delay. Instead of getting grumpy about the delays we made the most of it and got to see a new city that wasn’t on our itinerary! Plus I was thrilled to be in Poland again, even if only for a few hours.
Also, when you’re about to board your flight and hear the dreaded attendant on the intercom ask folks to change their flights due to overbooking, seize the day (if you can)! If you have the extra time to delay your flight, airlines usually offer very good incentives for travelers willing to change their travel plans (i.e. hundreds of dollars in flight credits).
This is actually how Ted and I were able to book our flights to Greece. We got kicked off a flight due to airline overbooking and lost two days of vacation. At the time we were really bummed to lose these days, but ended up getting enough flight credits from the airline that we used to fly to Greece the following year. In the long run the mishap worked to our benefit – we saw Greece!
Travel with a buddy
Whether its your spouse or a best friend – traveling with someone has two main benefits. One its cheaper – you can split the cost of everything. Two, you get to share memories with someone. I’ve traveled both solo and as a couple. And you know what, I always prefer to travel with someone I care about. When you see and experience new things you want someone there to share those moments.
I hope these are helpful! I’m very passionate about travel and believe that everyone should have the opportunity to explore this beautiful world so if you have any more questions let me know!
Christina has always felt like an old soul and is a lover of tradition and all things vintage. A typical Libra, she loves beauty and is always trying to balance her love of cozy nights at home with her adventurous spirit (23 countries and counting). By day she works for an international accounting firm. By night she works on her blog, My Petite Joys. On her site, you’ll find her featuring topics on travel (near and far), baking adventures, crafting, and thoughts on life’s simple joys. She lives in Chicago with her husband and high school sweet heart Ted. In her spare time she enjoys bookmaking, watching documentaries, and yoga.